ViewSonic TD1655, 15.6″ FHD portable touch screen (review)

Screen real estate is essential to those who work from home and for road warriors. The ViewSonic TD1655, 15.6″, 1920 x 1080, 60Hz portable touch screen connects via USB-C and HDMI to almost any smart device.

Yes, its primary use is as an extra ‘portable’ screen. But at $599, it needs to offer more than a typical monitor that starts from around $150, with touch versions from about $400. Unfortunately, apart from its portability and a nice kickstand – it doesn’t.

Upfront, you need to know it has 6-bit, 262,000 colours. That is a long way off the typical 8-bit, 16.7 million or 4K, 10-bit, 1.07 billion colour screens. It is also not very colour accurate, with a claimed 64% sRGB of 262K colours (what colours it can show are muted and dull). We tested, and it achieved 48% with a Delta e of 7.6 (<4 is good).

Similarly, the claim of 250 nits maximum and 800:1 contrast is nothing to write home about – it is not a brilliant, saturated screen. The purpose of a review is to help equip you to buy a product. As long as you understand what it is and does, we have done our job

ViewSonic TD1655

WebsiteProduct page and manual
Price$599 but shop around – I have seen it around $460
Warranty3-years
Country of OriginChina
CompanyViewSonic Corporation is a privately held multinational electronics company with headquarters in Brea, California, USA and a research & development centre in New Taipei City, Taiwan.
MoreCyberShack ViewSonic news and reviews

First impression

355 x 223 x 16mm x 1kg – its quite light and portable. It comes with a magnetic, woven fabric screen protector – very important to protect the screen, although that has a 6H Mohs hardness scale (out of 10) cover glass.

A fold-out kickstand gives it a 20-60° slant allows its use in landscape (16:9) or portrait mode (9:16).

Two .8W rear up-firing speakers max out at around 70dB with considerable distortion. They have an Analytical sound signature: (bass/mid recessed; treble boosted) – overly crisp and not pleasant for most music.

Ports

It has two USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 ports that support Alt DP 1.4 audio/video and touch to a PC (only one can be active for data at a time). However, as it has no battery, it needs external power.

The supplied 60W USB-C adapter is probably overkill as the panel uses <10W and can also run off a compliant 5V/3A/15W USB-C port. Note that you cannot use a USB-A port with an adapter as these generally max out at 10W. Or the 60W charger can provide about 50W upstream power to a compliant USB-C 3.1 smartphone or tablet.

Any USB-C PD 15W or higher compliant power bank will also work as it does not have a large power requirement.

It also has a mini HDMI 1.4 port (and a mini male HDMI to male HDMI cable) for older laptops. This delivers Audio and video but not touch, and you must use external power in this mode. You may need to buy a female HDMI to mini male HDMI adpter to connect streaming devices (about $20).

A 3.5mm 3-pole (stereo) jack allows for cabled headphone use.

Touch

Touch is perhaps a misnomer – it is capacitive touch, and while it claims to support 10-point multi-touch gestures, it is slow over a USB-C cable.

The passive stylus is a rubber tip type – more a finger size than a pen tip so it lacks precision for drawing or handwriting.

Screen

The screen is adequate. There are drivers (colour profiles) for Windows 10 and 11, including Windows on ARM and macOS, which make a slight improvement.

You can adjust the colour space from sRGB (for Windows PCs) to Bluish (9300K), Cool (7500K), Warm (5000K) and native.

The real issue is that the screen looks dull beside a Microsoft Surface Pro 8. Using a Google Chromecast TV dongle, the bright red channel 7 (or Netflix) logo is more a rusty red.

OSD menu

We won’t go into the menu as you should not need to access it. However, you need to access the main menu via the joystick power button if you want to change the volume. This really needs to be a shortcut option although Windows should control its volume as well.

Inbox

  • Screen
  • 60W PD USB-C power pack
  • USB-C to USB-C cable
  • USB-A to USB-C cable (only for power)
  • Mini-HDMI to HDMI (both male, so you need to buy a female adapter if you want to use a streaming dongle)
  • Cover
  • Passive pen and two tips

CyberShack’s view – ViewSonic TD1655, 15.6″ FHD portable touch screen, gives extra screen real estate.

It is hard to get excited over a 6-bit FHD panel, but it is what the ViewSonic TD1655 is. We have used quite a few 4K and FHD external monitors in the past from UPerfect, Espresso, ASUS, Lenovo and a few generic Chinese ones. These generally start around $360 and go to $800 for a 100% DCI-P3, HDR, 10-bit, 1.07 billion colours. Some even have built-in batteries, magnetic keyboards and trackpad covers.

So, this would not be on my shopping list. Perhaps it would have made the cut if it had been a proper 8-bit panel and a little brighter.

We will not rate this device out of 10 – it is what it is.

Pro

  • Portable and light with a good build quality
  • 2 x USB-C 3.1 ports and HDM 1.4
  • Low power requirement – 15W or more
  • Screen cover
  • Good company with an excellent warranty

Con

  • Colours are dull and lack dynamic range – not good for TV/streaming
  • Off-angle viewing is limited
  • Reflective screen is as fingerprint magnet
  • Best used in darkened conditions
  • Passive capacitive touch is slow and inaccurate
  • Speakers are poor and distort easily


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